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What OA Is Not

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I realize after six months in OA that when I ate in the past, I was searching for the good feelings I had as a child. I remember happy family gatherings centered on food: family reunion picnics, camping trip cookouts, holidays, and celebrations.

The fun and happiness had disappeared from my life. Why? I ate the same foods as I had on those fond occasions, yet no matter how much I ate, I could not duplicate the feelings from those bygone, carefree days.

Food and my weight became issues. I was mocked, ridiculed, and verbally tormented because of my size. This unkind treatment caused me to withdraw and eat more, and the more I isolated myself, the bigger I grew.

Over the years, I tried to diet. I longed to be a normal size, but nothing I tried worked for long. One more attempt to get my eating and weight under control always resulted in one more failure. After years of unhappy, yo-yo dieting, I grew to a little over 427 pounds (194 kg) and suffered from pain in my hips, knees, ankles, and feet.

In 2010, I tried dieting again. I combined two healthy diets to make my own weight loss program. It seemed to work. I lost 100 pounds (45 kg) over the course of about three years. Then I got tired of dieting and started regaining the weight.

In four and a half months, I packed back on 51 pounds (23 kg). When I stepped on the scale, I was devastated and out of ideas. There was nothing else to try except gastric bypass surgery, but I couldn’t accept that my body would be permanently altered inside.

I was ready to give up and accept that I was an abnormal freak who would die morbidly obese. Then OA crossed my path. I had heard of OA but never thought about giving the program a chance. In February 2014, at 378 pounds (172 kg), I decided to try OA. I figured if it didn’t work, it would be no different than any other weight-loss program I had tried and failed.

Over the past six months, I have learned that OA is not just another diet program; it is different. It promises miraculous recovery if I truly want to stop compulsively overeating, trust in a power greater than myself to restore me to sanity, and am willing to work the program.

I’m willing to do all that is required to the best of my current ability, and I pray daily for the courage and strength to change the things I can. The rest is up to God.

— Robin

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